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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Department or Program Affiliation
Kinesiology, Sport and Exercise Psychology
Master of Science (MS)
Health and Human Development
Approximately 95% of dancers suffer from musculoskeletal pain, and rates of musculoskeletal injury in professional dancers range between 20% to 84% (Hincapié et al., 2008). In addition to the mechanical disturbances that injuries have on physical functioning, athletic injuries often trigger psychological and emotional distress (Anderson et al., 2004; Wiese-Bjornstal et al., 1998). Sport athletes have reported emotions including frustration, depression, fear, and anger post-injury, among other psychological responses (Johnston & Carroll, 1998; Macchi & Crossman, 1996; Tracey, 2003). Dancers, like sport athletes, face inherent risks for injury due to the artistry and physicality of dancing (Hincapié et al., 2008), yet there is limited research on the psychological responses of dance-related injuries, particularly within modern dancers (Thomas & Tarr, 2009). Thus, the purpose of the present study was to qualitatively explore the post-injury psychological experiences of modern dancers. Participants included eight adult modern dancers (7 women, 1 man; Mage = 30.5 years; 75% White) who had suffered a serious injury (≥ 6 weeks recovery time) within the past five years. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews, and all interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded line-by-line through an inductive analysis process. All open codes were sorted into 24 themes. Final themes were organized into seven higher order categories: emotional reactions, behavioral responses, realizations, external factors, loss, acceptance, and other experiences. The present study provides a base of research on the complexity of dance injury experiences and can be used as a guide to aid practitioners to support modern dancers more effectively.
modern dancers, stress-related growth, social support, surgery, athletic injury, emotional responses, qualitative
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
Dancing injuries--Psychological aspects; Dancers--Interviews
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Fernandez, Marísa Kelly Rose, "Exploration of Dancers' Post-Injury Psychological Experiences" (2021). WWU Graduate School Collection. 1026.